I was a University of Maine junior who wanted to get into the newspaper business writing features. Nancy Taber, an experienced features writer for the Women’s Pages of the Maine Sunday Telegram, was a shopper at Porteous, where I worked part time.

So I asked her how to apply, did so and persisted in contacting Steve Riley, the news editor and Nancy’s boss, until he hired me as a summer intern in 1972. But for that to happen, I had to prove myself first.

I was assigned to interview the wife of Frederick Hutchinson, a dean at UMaine, and write the story. I’d never interviewed anyone before, but that wasn’t the challenge. Getting there was. So I borrowed a classmate’s car, drove to the house, did the interview, submitted the article and got the job.

That summer I worked five days a week: four for Barbara Landry, the editor of the Telegram’s Women’s Pages, and one day for Gertrude Cutler, the editor of the Evening Express’ Women’s Page. Also sharing the office were Elaine Killilea, Nancy Taber and two other women.

Our department was ladylike, unlike the newsroom, which consisted mostly of men who would smoke at their desks and use a bad word now and then. But the atmosphere in our office was businesslike, with little time for chatter.

We started our day by perusing the daily paper for five minutes, then getting down to work on our manual typewriters. Our department produced features and society articles, which consisted of engagements, weddings, anniversaries and club news.

I wrote an occasional feature for the Express, but mainly my duties consisted of writing up the weddings and engagements from forms submitted by the families. Making calls and checking and rechecking, I had to make sure the information was accurate. Back then the paper used such details as the fabric of the dresses and the flowers in the bouquets.

Janice Doherty (the Town and Country columnist) would breeze in once a week, Steve Riley would venture down from his office for crackers, and I’d visit on my breaks with Tom Chard and Carroll Rines, already a legend, in the sports department upstairs.

After I went back to college, my ties to the Women’s Pages didn’t end. I wrote an occasional feature from Orono for Barbara Landry, such as one on the class valedictorian, and I returned to work there during my vacations.

After graduating from college, I didn’t get the job writing features and fashion that I had once hoped for. And I never had a career in journalism, so occasionally I do wonder “what if.”

There have been many evolutions, both in format and content, from the Women’s Pages to Home and Family to Home and Garden. And there have been many changes in personnel.

However, I look back fondly to the times when there wasn’t so much technology and people “feted” were noted in the paper.

Vicki Sullivan of South Portland is an English instructor at Southern Maine Community College.